Yorkshire are hoping to ride the wave created by their good form in T20 cricket when they return to LV= Insurance County Championship action against Derbyshire at Chesterfield tomorrow (11am).
The county are without a win in five Division Two matches – three draws and two defeats. In their last match against Durham at the Seat Unique Riverside three weeks ago, they suffered an agonising one-wicket defeat.
That was followed by three defeats at the start of the Vitality Blast.
But, since then, they have won five T20 games in a row to change the mood in the dressing room and build significant confidence.
Coach Ottis Gibson, for one, is determined to ensure that continues.
“We certainly prefer this feeling a lot more,” said the affable Bajan as he looked ahead to a trip to Queen’s Park to face a Derbyshire side with an almost identical Championship record in 2023.
“The Durham game is one we should have won. But a lot’s happened since then, and it feels like a long time ago.
“We have a lot of confidence in the team, and long may that continue.
“Quite a few of the guys will be involved in the Championship. Even though it’s a different format, I hope guys have confidence in their ability to take wickets and so on. We can use that as a springboard to kick-start our four-day cricket.”
Yorkshire sit bottom of Division Two on 33 points after five games, with Derbyshire four points and a place better off.
Durham are top of the table on 105 points from six games. Though, perhaps more significantly, Sussex are in the second promotion spot on 76 points after six games.
“Promotion was the aim at the start of the season, and it hasn’t changed,” said Gibson ahead of the first of nine remaining fixtures. “We need to win games.”
It is interesting, however, listening to Gibson talk about the best method to achieve those required victories.
“At the start of the Blast, I heard the stat about us not winning a game (in any competition) since August, and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a long time’,” he said.
“I, myself, was guilty of it. You start to focus on the result more and ignore the process.
“But now we’ve gone back to, ‘If we do these things really well, that will take care of itself – let’s not look too far ahead and focus on the here and now and performing’.
“We want to focus on executing our role really well to enable us to get to the end result rather than looking too far ahead and missing some steps along the way.
“That’s preparation and planning, and to be fair to the lads they are executing the plans we’re putting in place in the Blast.”
Captain Shan Masood will face the county he left last season, while Ben Coad could come back into contention having missed the Durham defeat last month with a groin injury. He has played a couple of second-team T20s recently.
However, fellow seamer Mickey Edwards is a couple of weeks from fitness having suffered a plantar fasciitis (foot) injury.
Saud Shakeel and Jonny Bairstow will need replacing from the team which faced Durham last time out. Jonny Tattersall is in line to fill the latter’s spot against a side captained by South African batter Leus du Plooy.
One man who could also feature depending on conditions is leg-spinner Jafer Chohan, who has impressed during the first half of the Blast, including a standout display of 1-16 from four overs in Tuesday’s win at Leicestershire.
It would be absolutely no surprise to see him play as a second spinner alongside Dom Bess at a venue which takes turn.
“Every game so far, Jafer’s been getting better,” added Gibson. “He understands when the captain’s going to come to him, and he’s proving to be a really good signing for us.
“At the moment, the way he’s bowling, for sure he could play. He’s bowling really well.
“If we get there and it looks like it’s going to spin, there’s no reason at all why he couldn’t play.”
Derbyshire are likely to field Pakistani opener Haider Ali and Sri Lanka seamer Suranga Lakmal as their pair of overseas players.
Yorkshire’s last visit to Chesterfield for a Championship match came in 2013, a Division One match the visitors won by an innings and 213 runs.
Alex Lees scored a brilliant an unbeaten 275 in a first-innings 617-5 declared before Jack Brooks and Steve Patterson claimed five wickets apiece as the hosts were bowled out for 235 and 269 inside three days.